I have finally returned to the US, recovered from jet lag, and gotten over the cold I caught on my 14 hour flight back. My sleep schedule is finally fixed: I no longer get tired in the afternoon just to wake up at 3:00 AM with full energy. I am settling back into my routine at home.
There are so many things I miss about Seoul. I keep telling my friends and family about how cheap the food in South Korea is, from the $10 all you can eat Korean barbecue to the different street food and marketplaces. I miss the quick and efficient train system, that took me all around Seoul whenever I wanted and the vibrant city streets with different clothing and skincare stores. I miss the quirky themed cafes and the kindness of the Korean elders who would help us navigate our way around Seoul.
Most especially, I miss the friends that I made on the trip. I am happy to reunite and see my friends from back home, but I still miss my new friends from Korea. However, we have all been staying in touch via social media. Despite the distance and the differing time zones, we have been able to keep in touch and talk almost every day. We talk about our lives back home and send pictures of things that remind us of our adventures in South Korea.
One of my biggest worries is forgetting the Korean that I learned while abroad. I have been trying to learn new vocabulary each day, and practicing the structures I learned. I am worried that I will slack off on self-studying. I have been browsing Amazon and other websites to look for good textbooks to force me to continue my studies, and have been watching YouTube videos of people explaining different Korean grammar structures to act as my teachers. I may also download some podcasts to help with the self-studying process while I am back at school.
I am preparing to go back to Gainesville and start the fall semester of my second year. This summer went by too quickly for me, and even though I only spent half of the summer in Seoul, it feels as though I was there for so long. If anyone is debating on whether or not to study abroad, I’d say do it without a second thought. South Korea pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowed me to make meaningful connections, and gave me new perspectives and outlooks on life.